Affinity Photo easily surpasses Pixelmator

“When I learned that another new photo editing application was coming, one that claimed it would be able to take on the juggernaut of the industry, Adobe Photoshop, I rolled my eyes,” Mark Reschke writes for T-GAAP.

“‘First this software will need to be able to knock off Pixelmator,’ I thought,” Reschke writes. “I downloaded Affinity Photos immediately, and within one day of using the software I realized that Affinity was no competition for Pixelmator – it easily surpassed it.”

“Affinity Photo was engineered from the ground up for OS X. There is no Affinity Windows counterpart. There no shared code or pallet design ported from the platform best forgotten. Affinity Photo is 100% OS X goodness, and already includes Force Touch capability,” Reschke writes. “Pixelmator is stable, it creates solid masks, can work with RAW image files, and it even has limited CMYK abilities. But where Pixelmator’s shore ends is where Affinity Photo’s large speed boat is waiting to take you on board and finish the journey.”

Read more in the full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ah, the return of competition among Mac image editors. ‘Tis a beautiful thing!

IT.Enquirer reviews Affinity Photo for Mac: ‘Strong potential to unseat Photoshop’ – July 16, 2015
Affinity Photo image editing app for Mac: ‘Highly recommended’ – July 11, 2015
Mac image editors: Download the free Affinity Photo beta, we think you’ll like it – February 11, 2015
After 25-years as a Windows-only developer, Serif unveils its first ever Mac product – free beta available now – July 26, 2014


  1. Yeah I was shocked how much easier, good and fast Affinity Photo is even on an older Mac Pro. And the better ideas that shoulda been in Photoshop a long time ago – if they had had any competition.

    I think history has proved companies that stick with legacy code (*ahah* *ahah* Microsoft) & app design ideas will have a harder time when an upstart company comes along and designs something from the ground up better implementing technologies available today. Especially against traditional apps.

    Photoshop has been root-bound for too long. As has Adobe, a company still sadly trying to fix the unloved pariah Flash instead of rebuilding from the ground up it or just getting rid of it altogether, doing mankind an inestimable service.

    1. I like Affinity and would definitely recommend to any armatures. However, it doesn’t do even half of what I need as a pro. Great for the masses but not in the same league as Photoshop. I wish the well and hope they sell a boatload of copies.

  2. “Affinity Photo was engineered from the ground up for OS X. There is no Affinity Windows counterpart.”

    The same is true for Pixelmator. It relies on CoreImage.


    1. More proof that developers have abandoned windows – especially so after that excruciatingly embarrassing public display put on by Steve Ballmer. No amount of eye bleach can fix the horrifying sight of those humongous armpit stains.

  3. For a V1 product, Affinity Photo is an amazing product at an amazing price. I have been very impressed with the speed (faster than Photoshop at pretty much everything) and I think the is the first true challenger to PS’s crown.

    Now look at what they’ve done and look at the tea leaves: Affinity Designer last year, taking on Illustrator, Affinity Photo now and coming up Affinity Publisher, going for InDesign. Now consider that Serif, a comparatively small software house in Nottingham, England, have been a Windows-only development house. Now they are developing Mac software, and judging by the results so far, are developing sone really serious kit.

    Serif have just fired a massive shot across the bows of a 35 billion dollar company, namely Adobe. With Affinity Publisher coming out of the gate in the next few months, Serif have aimed a big arrow directly at the heart of Adobe’s three flagship programs. With their already established expertise in developing Windows software, it is entirely conceivable that Designer, Photo and Publisher will be ported to Windows. This is potentially extremely worrying for Adobe.

    I also suspect that Serif are hard at work folding in support for Metal. particularly as Photo already leverages the Mac’s abilities to the hilt. I truly believe that Serif have a game-changer on their hands. I have been both surprised and delighted at how well Photo works. Yes, there are areas that could do with improvement but to cover so much of PS’s functionality so quickly is one hell of an achievement.

    The future looks extremely promising for Serif—well done!


    1. Yeah, ain’t it great? Creative Cloud subscription model and software gets a knee kick to the groin. Adobe’s response to Affinity will be interesting. I just hope they don’t resort to using the legal system somehow doing their dirty work for them instead of real competition tactics helpful to users.

      1. It’s hard to see what legal machinations Adobe could deploy, if any.

        Finally we have a beautiful, fast, elegant and powerful alternative to the bloated warthog known as Photoshop. I’ve always hated PS, not for what it can do—which is, let’s face it, damn clever—but for the way it works. Photo takes that same functionality and presents it in a far more intuitive fashion. I’m still slack-jawed with amazement at how fast this puppy runs.

        Photo brings back the joy in working with images. My primary workhorse will still be Aperture for the foreseeable future, but Photo will now become my go-to tool for everything that Aperture doesn’t handle.


        1. I see that as an unfortunate trend for Adobe. They set themselves up for cheaper alternatives to arrive with their onerous business model many balk at. Especially the more casual user who will use the same software version for years or as long as possible. Yeah it’s nice if you can get it – monthly money instead of one price fits all. Nothing these app guys does is precious and only a matter of time before someone comes out with a better, as good or nearly as good mousetrap. Now we can keep more of our own money in our own pocket and out of Adobe’s. That’s a good thing.

        2. I do not see Affinity Photo being remotely close to Aperture. Since Aperture is more of a RAW workflow processor and it manages (organizes) image libraries. For something to replace Aperture would be something like Lightroom or CaptureONE since both are for digital asset management tools as well as processing RAW image files. Affinity Photo would be what you use after you have processed said images from Lightroom or CaptureONE for more image refinement.

  4. I want to jump ship so badly. I just have so many made and purchased actions and plug-ins I use with Photoshop. Ugh. Affinity looks wonderful and fast.

    I’m on board as soon as things like Nik (Google) Color Effects and Sharpener Pro, a good noise plug-in (Noise Ninja, Neat, DeNoise 5), and better action like support for building multiple complex luminosity masks comes to it.

    I have the same problem with Pixelmator, even though I love it when I can use it.

  5. And then Adobe could buy Serif out.

    Serif has a whole suite on Windows already. I have it and it’s uninspiring. Serif went back to the board, and thankfully decided, since they don’t have a Mac product, get it right this time. Putting the Afinity brand on it, puts some distance from the Serif team. Hopefully this is also the end of Serif’s Windows product line and the Afinity team brings competence to the table. Keep up the good work.

  6. Adobe has been begging for someone to knock them off their perch for a very long time. It’s not just the subscription model that many Photoshop users find onerous. The combination of extremely high price and very slow innovation (despite the frequent upgrades) has made many feel ripped off by Adobe for many years.

    I am actually very happy with Photoshop CS6. For my money, it is easily the best version I have ever used (I started with version 1.0). But it makes my head spin to think about how much money I’ve spent to keep using Photoshop all these years. I bought Affinity Photo the day it came out and hope its developers will keep working hard to make it even better.

  7. It won’t knock off Photoshop for two reasons.

    First, Adobe will allow competition up to a point. Maybe 2 percent or 5 percent. Then, they’ll take them to court for patent infringement. Even if Adobe loses, the victory will have cost the latest challenger everything.

    Second, then name. Affinity sounds like a health care organization, or maybe a new car from Japan. Names matter.

  8. Just installed and played with it for a bit. Don’t like the idea of learning a new interface, have used Pixelmator for about 5 years. But I like Affinity, and going to take the time to change it over. I have a reason to use posterization and that was something that Pixelmator did not do easily. Already have Designer and see lots of possibilities for projects.

  9. There’s a game afoot Pixelmator! Your Move…..

    Here is what Pixelmator needs:

    Fill In the Blank ____________________

    I’ll start this off – Pixelmator needs:

    – Larger tool icon option.
    – Single window with docking pallets option.

    1. I could say the same about Affinity icons, to be fair. Just about 25% bigger would be right at least on my monitors and ……..more contrast with the background. What is with this massively stupid low or almost no contrast fad? Hopefully, UI designers will get over that nonsense soon. Thats a general comment, not against Affinity specifically.

  10. I’m cutting a break here for Pixelmator: There are two things that it still does better, as far as I am concerned:

    1) Cropping and adjusting image size for fixed pixel amounts. That’s a simple UI thing.

    2) The Repair Tool is a marvel.

    There’s no reason Affinity Photo could include these things. Put it in the wishlist.

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